Category Archives: Selling Homes

It’s a Good Time to Sell!

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Believe it or not, this really is a good time to sell.  The inventory is at record lows in the Sacramento area.  There are more buyers than homes on the market, so homes are going very quickly.  I am seeing 10 to 20 offers on homes within the first few days of the listing date.   You might think this is only true for homes price at or below $300,000, but this is NOT the case.  My partner and I had a listing in Roseville recently.  The home was listed at $555,000.  At the end of day two we had 20 offers, so we had to tell the buyers agents that we were not accepting any more offers.  When we asked for everyone’s best and final offer, we received counters back at a higher offer price even though they may have already been above list price in the original offer!  This home was not even a traditional sale, it was a short sale.  Another agent in our office had the same thing happen recently with his listing in Loomis which was priced in the low $700,000’s.

If you have been contemplating selling your home, this is a great time to go for it.  I am not sure how long this window of opporotunity will exist.

Feel free to contact me with any questions.  I would be happy to provide you with a complimentary Compartive Market Analysis on your home.

Sheri Negri
Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate
925 Highland Pointe Drive #140
Roseville, CA 95678
(916) 606-3210

Sheri@LoveForHomesSac.com

Understanding Today’s Home Buyers

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Home buyers used to have it easy – all they had to consider when buying a home was price, condition and location. Getting loans was a snap, and reselling the home was never a worry.

But today’s recessionary market is throwing home buyers a curve. They’re not so certain home buying is a good investment, and neither are their bankers.

If you’re a home seller, you need to know what buyers are facing in today’s real estate market, so you can do the one thing that will help the right buyer buy your home.

Price it to sell.

  • Buyers begin their search for a home with prices. Buyers may search many neighborhoods or look at homes out of their price range to get an idea of the marketplace. But, when it comes to serious shopping, they know their price and use it to see which homes they can afford.
  • Buyers are prequalified by their lender. A serious buyer will not be satisfied with day dreaming for long. They’ll share their financial information, and get prequalified by a lender who will tell them exactly how much they can afford. Is your home in the right price range?
  • Buyers work with real estate professionals. Once they have a green light, buyers start shopping. They ask their real estate professionals to start gathering and presenting homes they might like. If your home is priced too high, your best, likeliest buyer will never see it. Is your home overpriced compared to the competition?
  • Buyers have incredible sources to compare homes. Videos, virtual tours, feature sheets and multiple photos are the eye candy. They quickly sort through what’s available to a short list of the most appealing homes in their price range. Did you de-clutter, clean, stage and update your home?
  • Buyers choose homes based on bang for the buck. As buyers walk through listings with their real estate agent, they’ll quickly make snap decisions based on size, condition, and location as compared to price.  Does your home offer the most bang for the buck?
  • Buyers use the same comparables you do. Just as you and your real estate agent have examined the market, buyers and their agents do the same. They know which homes are overpriced, and they’ll assume that an overpriced home comes from either an unmotivated or unrealistic seller.  They’ll make their offer to the seller whose home offers the most for the money and who appears most reasonable to an offer. Do you appear negotiable?
  • Buyers’ banks confirm prices with appraisals. Today’s appraisals are strict. New codes of conduct require banks to avoid pressuring appraisers to “hit the numbers.” Appraisers are required to go back as long as one year, to determine if your home is in a “declining market.” If so, the appraisal can come as much as 5% under your list price. If the appraisal is under the list price, the bank won’t lend. Are you prepared to lower your price to make the deal go through?
  • Buyers face unprecedented banking challenges. Banks no longer offer non-conforming loans with abandon. Many banks are balking at offering conforming loans, and those are government-guaranteed. They require stricter proof from buyers that they are able to repay their loans, often qualifying them at much lower levels. Are you willing to help your buyer by paying down points?
  • Buyers are scared. They have to have a good reason to buy a home, and news of declining prices hasn’t provided much incentive. Help them by  showing them all the ways your home has rewarded your ownership. Show them how much you pay in property taxes, how much you get as a homestead exemption, how much you’re able to write off your income taxes as a homeowner. Are you willing to share what buyers need to know?
  • Buyers don’t have to buy. They want to buy. They want the joys of homeownership, and it’s your job as a homeowner to provide them with the tipping point they need – the best home at the best price. Is your home priced to sell?

Current Sacramento Area Real Estate Statistics

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Here are your real estate statistics for the Sacramento area!

Information Source:  MetroList

Article by:  Sheri Negri, Realtor

www.loveforhomessac.com

Moving with Young Children

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Are you excited and happy about moving? Or are you dreading the sorting, packing and other chores?

If you look at moving as an exciting adventure full of fun, new possibilities, then you’re halfway to getting your children on board for the ride. Your children will absorb your enthusiasm like little sponges.

There will be some worries, of course, but you can defeat those with a little preparation and understanding.

Most children don’t like the changes associated with moving. The younger the child, the less able they are to “see into the future” as you do. They tend to focus on losing the security they’re used to, and they worry about missing friends and family.

You can make childish anger and doubt grow into a sense of wonder and adventure. You can do that by acknowledging and empathizing with the loss they feel and showing them how to balance their feelings with what they have to gain.

1.Communicate with your child patiently and frequently.  Let your children know, step by step, what is happening and what is likely to happen next. Tell them what the move means to the family — how important it is that Mommy got a big promotion or that Daddy is opening a new office for his company.

2. List all the advantages there are for the child in the move. For example, will the family be closer to Grandma, the ocean, or another favorite person, place, or activity? Will they be able to see old friends and family frequently? Or at least at holiday time?

3. Show the child as much as you can about the new home. When you show your child their room, bath, and play area, make a game of it by asking where certain favorite toys or furniture should go. Have fun by showing your child the new house plans, or draw them yourself and let your child cut out furniture and toys to place in the rooms. Show your child a typical day in the home as you go from room to room.

4. Introduce your child to the new community online. Draw a map, and show how close Mommy and Daddy work, where schools are, where Aunt Bea lives, and other points of interest to help them orient themselves in their new surroundings.

5. Be ready for those “What about me?” questions. If your child is in scouts, little league, or other organizations, contact those associations for referrals in your new neighborhood or city. Knowing they won’t have to give up favorite hobbies or sports goes a long way toward helping children adjust.

6. Let your child participate. Make a fun activity out of researching services you’ll need online, like finding a new veterinarian for your dog. Older children can find blogs online about their new school.

7. Keep your child occupied by letting them plan and pack a box or two of their special things. Consider their input on new decor and the layout of their new rooms. Encourage them to take the time to exchange good-byes with friends and loved ones and get addresses, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers to stay in touch.

8. Try to stick to normal routines as much as possible. Let your children know that, although they will soon live in a new house, the rules of the household will still be the same. Bedtime is still at 9 p.m., and homework must still be completed before TV time is allowed. And although Mom and Dad are a little busier and distracted with the move, they love their children very much and are giving the entire household a new opportunity to grow.

9. On moving day, have a bag packed of personal belongings for each member of the family, being careful to include medications, clothes, and personal items. Let your children choose what amusements and favorite “loveys” they wish to take along, and reassure them they will see their other favorite toys when they arrive in their new home.

Your preparedness will go a long way in reassuring your children that their needs are being considered, even while big changes are happening around them.

www.loveforhomessac.com

Selling Tips in a Buyer’s Market

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A buyer’s market means it’s the seller’s turn to be flexible, especially with sale terms. Purchase price, closing dates, move-in dates, storage, appliances, window treatments, points and fees may all require a little negotiation. Whatever the terms, don’t let personal feelings stand in the way of a good deal.

Selling in a soft market

The basics

In a buyer’s market, curb appeal, cleanliness, overall good condition and updates are especially crucial. Any little flaw should be taken care of before the first buyer drives up.

  • Attend open houses in your neighborhood to see what “sell-ready” really looks like. If you’re shy, ask your Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate sales associate to walk you through a few sell-ready examples.
  • Back home, start with the exterior to ensure you’re making a good first impression. Reseed or throw down some turf on lawn patches, change the lights in the lamppost, and if necessary, reset the walkway stone.
  • Clean the interior beyond your standards. Even if they are impeccable, rent an industrial carpet cleaner or hire a professional cleaning service. Brighten the interior ambience with light fixture updates, as new lighting is one of the most inexpensive and noticeable improvements you can make prior to listing.
  • Fix leaky faucets and make sure the water pressure is strong in both the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • If necessary, a great way to improve the appearance of your home is to paint. Use only neutral colors that can easily lend themselves to different décor and styles of furniture.

Don’t reject low offers; negotiate

  • Don’t dismiss lower-than-expected offers. Instead, consider buyer incentives that help you meet your asking price. Offer to pay the buyer’s closing costs, moving costs or loan origination fee. These can help the buyer with upfront costs. As well, you may consider offering a limited home warranty that covers HVAC systems and some appliances for a definitive period of time.
  • Be careful of purchase offers that are contingent on the buyer selling their home first. Their home may be in a softer market than yours and you could be in for a long wait. Be sure that the purchase agreement includes a contingency-release clause. This way you’ll be able to sell if another buyer comes along.
  • Work with your Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate agent to find creative solutions to make a deal come together. The purchase price is just part of the deal. Anything that makes your property stand apart from the competition will give it an edge in a buyer’s market.

Posted by:  Sheri Negri
www.loveforhomessac.com

Carbon Monoxide Detectors Now Required

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As of July 1, 2011 a new California law requires all “dwelling units intended for human occupancy” to be retrofitted  with carbon monoxide (CO) detection devices.  If you own your own home, you are responsible for obtaining and installing these devices.  Or you can hire a company that will come in and install them for you.  If you are a renter, it is the responsibility of your landlord to come in and install them.

The devices may be battery-powered, or a plug-in device with a battery back-up.  The device must be tested and certified pursuant to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and UL.  The cost of the devices range from as low as $20 to as much as $200.  Some are combined with smoke detectors.  You can find these CO devices at most hardware stores.

Unlike smoke detectors, CO devices must be replaced at least every 7 years. For this reason, when selling a residential property, disclosure of the existence of the device and its operability may not be sufficient, if the device is more than 7 years old. Some devices are equipped with an alert that the device is 60+ months old, signaling the necessity of replacing it.

Tips for Number of Alarms

  • Alarm should be centrally located outside of each sleeping area
  • Alarm should be located at least 6 inches from all exterior walls and at least 3 feet from supply or return vents
  • Alarm to be located on every level including basements within which fuel-fired appliances are installed and in dwelling units that have attached garages
  • Alarm should be mounted approximately 3 to 5 feet from the floor (Note: the battery-powered devices will allow you to go higher than 3 feet from the floor)

Article by:  Sheri Negri of Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate
Website:  www.loveforhomessac.com
Facebook:  http://goo.gl/mcqVs

Investment Properties – Sacramento Area

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It is been heavily report lately that investors are on the rise in Sacramento.  With Sacramento having one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country, it makes sense.  Distressed properties make up approximately 70% of the market (REOs/Short Sales).  With the rental market on the rise, investors are trying to obtain a steady stream of rental income.

If you have been thinking about becoming an investor yourself, here are some things to consider:

  • Determine how much money you want to spend on the investment property.
  • Most investors pay all cash because cash offers usually take priority in a multiple offer situation.
  • If you would like to leverage your money, you can also obtain financing.  However, to get a better interest rate, you need to put down at least 25%.  For multi-family properties it can be anywhere from 30-35%.
  • Most investors look daily for properties, so you need to have a good Realtor working with you to stay on top of new listings.
  • Work with your Realtor to determine your ROI: 1) How much are other rentals going for in that area?; 2) How much will it cost to make the property move in ready (meaning what needs to be fixed)? 3) What are the ongoing fees? (HOA, Mello Roos, Taxes, Utilities, Garbage, etc.); 4) If you plan to hire a property management company, you can expect to pay 5-6% of gross income.   5) Don’t forget to account for vacancy rate and advertising!  You should be looking for at least 5% ROI.
  • Good deals go fast–usually within the first week of listing.  However, if you are a new investor, make sure you see enough properties to understand the market before diving into anything.
  • If plan on renting your investment property, make sure you understand the Landlord/Tenant laws by reading up online and consulting with an attorney.  This step is crucial because one bad decision could land you in court with massive legal fees.

Bottom Line:  There are some really great deals out there for people wanting to invest in real estate.  Properties are basically 50% off right now.  And if you plan to finance, interest rates have never been lower.

Posted by:  Sheri Negri
www.loveforhomessac.com